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Daily Dose of Doozy #15: Remixing of Classic Genres: ZAZ and Leslie Nielsen


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#41 gtunison

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 02:38 PM

It was like watching an old cop movie or tv show. Very dry dialogue but punched with jokes. The Swiss Army Shoe is an example..

 

Some what similar but with bigger site gags. Drebins car scene has Frank go into cop mode, shooting at the car and asking did anyone see the driver. Then he realizes it was his car. Not quite over the top humor but very funny.

 

Drebin is more vocal comedy where as Clouseau is more physical comedy. Both are bumbling but in different ways.

 


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#42 Marianne

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 02:15 PM

1. How would you describe ZAZ’s approach to film parody or film spoofs in this scene? Cite specific examples.

It starts with the film’s title: The Naked Gun (as in The Naked City), so viewers know right away that it’s a parody of the genre because The Naked City was a very serious 1960s television show. I think the best example of ZAZ’s over-the-top approach in The Naked Gun is Frank Drebin’s misguided response to his own car driving off, hitting a fire hydrant, bursting into flames, and then continuing on its way. Frank Drebin doesn’t recognize his own car and shoots at it. But the car cannot be stopped. And even the water from the fire hydrant can’t put out the flames as the car rolls on its way.
2. How is ZAZ’s approach to spoofing similar to or different from Mel Brook and Gene Wilder’s approach in yesterday’s Daily Dose?

ZAZ’s approach is over-the-top. The bit with Drebin’s car takes up almost a minute of the clip. The bit inside in the police lab takes up the rest, although this latter bit has asides, so to speak. The bit about the anti-graffiti wall is one example. The gag with the lab assistant who is so tall viewers can’t see his head on screen is another example. The demonstration of the gadgets in the lab is a spoof of James Bond films and maybe the television show Get Smart, so the film goes a little bit out of its intended parody target to spoof spy films, too.
3. In the context of slapstick comedy, compare Peter Sellers’s Inspector Clouseau with Leslie Nielsen’s Frank Drebin.

Everyone around Inspector Clouseau was portrayed as more competent than Clouseau. (Commissioner Dreyfus, Inspector Clouseau’s boss: “Give me ten men like Clouseau and I could destroy the world.”) It was Clouseau who was the bumbling detective and the one who created most of the laughs. Frank Drebin is supremely incompetent, and he’s surrounded by people who are inept, but not quite as inept as Drebin. Drebin isn’t the only one played for laughs.


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#43 savaney

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 01:22 PM

1. How would you describe ZAZ's approach to film parody or film spoofs in this scene? Cite specific examples.

 

In the case of ZAZ, anything that can happen usually does. The gags and jokes are fast and furious. When you see Frank Drebin for the first time and hear his narration, you know that something funny and outrageous is going to surface. Sometimes there is a buildup, other times there isn't. The moment where Drebin unknowing gets almost run over with his own car is something that can happen in any other spoof, but the way it happens in a ZAZ film is fresh without being too much. Also as for the narration, you take really take it seriously as it sounds cartoonish. That's the beauty of a ZAZ film, because when them it's "anything goes". In a way, The Naked Gun parodies the already absurd nature of police procedure.

 

2. How is ZAZ's approach to spoofing similar to or different from Mel Brook and Gene Wilder's approach in yesterday's Daily Dose?

 

In terms of ZAZ, I think their films are similar to Brooks' and Wilder's is due to the fact that there seems to running gags and jokes a mile a minute, which means a gag can happen every five minutes. However, ZAZ films differ because the jokes are not as subtle and they know that their audience is fully aware that their films are not as tasteful as Brooks' and Wilder's. The dialogue and physicality is not as graceful or delicate as those found in the films of Brooks and Wilder. In ZAZ films, the language is more raunchy, salty and R-rated. The music in ZAZ is more erratic and hyper than the music in B&W's films, which is more soulful and playful.

 

3. In the context of slapstick comedy, compare Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau with Leslie Nielsen's Frank Drebin.

 

I think both Clouseau and Drebin are similar because they are both physical characters; it seems like their bodies are made for moving and dealing with stunts, and they are both buffoons who somehow eventually solve their cases. However, the difference comes from the fact that Clouseau's are more subtle and less intentional. Drebin's can be a little forced and kinetic, meaning that it is much faster and rapid. Clouseau seems to be a little more uppity than Drebin; Drebin is more playful and actually loveable, especially when it comes to behavior. Overall, they are both very iconic characters portrayed by both very iconic actors.


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#44 Lonbo

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 12:55 PM

1. How would you describe ZAZ's approach to film parody or film spoofs in this scene? Cite specific examples.

 

For me... ZAZ seems to like to do a combo of the obvious... and also toss in the element of being blindsided!  You KNOW the dart is going in someone's neck - but with the shoe, not so much.  You're thinking that the 'knife at the toe point' is it - that THAT'S the joke - but then you have the entire Swiss Army Knife shtick that comes into play.

 

Then you've got the 'too tall for the scene' lab worker - funny, yes!  But then drop a half of a banana supposedly dangling from the side of his mouth onto the work space and the 'element of surprise' hits you once again.

 

Of COURSE there's going to be an airbag malfunction... but then another appears and kicks the car into drive... and then a dive out of its pathway... then shots fired... then an explosion as the runaway car careens down the hill.. let's toss in a water hydrant - and the amazing ability of the car to continue down the hill and make a perfect right turn!  Oh and of course, we have to get the name of the driver AND let's start interrogating all of these witnesses.

 

The ZAZ team definitely knows how to build a joke and milk it for all it's worth!!!

 

2. How is ZAZ's approach to spoofing similar to or different from Mel Brook and Gene Wilder's approach in yesterday's Daily Dose?

 

As somewhat referenced above, where Mel will hit on a joke and move on... the ZAZ team takes a moment and builds an entire stream of the wonderfully ridiculous into their slapstick - and the amazing Leslie Nielsen (who made his career as the straight man) takes that deadpan, serious side and hands his straight man life directly into the hands of the ZAZ team and becomes one of the cinema's most memorable characters, all while never being directly in on the joke.

 

A man who would carry a 'flatulent sound maker' around in their pocket and set it off in formal social situations is definitely a man I would have LOVED to hang out with!

 

3. In the context of slapstick comedy, compare Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau with Leslie Nielsen's Frank Drebin.

 

For me, the differences are in that Clouseau was somewhat aware of his clumsy, bumbling nature and tried to make corrections (especially when I'm reflecting on the pool cue scene in the Pink Panther film where he's trying to put everything back together). Drebin appears to be completely oblivious to the chaos he'd create - or the chaos that would follow him.

 

Given the same situation with the pool cue's, I believe that Drebin would have simply walked away, unaware of the mess he'd created.

 


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#45 Janeko

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 12:35 PM

It seems that all of the comments I had in mind have already been written by everyone else!!

 

As in the old Sennett films, the gags come flying at the audience, one after another. And there's a touch of Roch's Buster Keaton films where suddenly it's man against machine as Drebin is "attacked" by his own car.

 

The pace of the gags in Young Frankenstein are slower, and there's more verbal than physical slapstick.  But both styles are so effective in their respective films!!

 

I loved the segue from spoofing police films to spoofing James Bond films with Ted's showing the guys the "Swiss army shoe" and the dart firing cuff links, and then back again.

 

Like Clouseau, poor Drebin is so totally inept, so clueless.  And both detectives are totally unaware of the chaotic situations they create! They just keep moving on while everyone else is trying to clean up the mess, so to speak!


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#46 MrDougLong

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 12:35 PM

1.       The ZAZ approach to film parody here is to embellish a drab, sober police show style with slapstick comedy. One of the conventions is voice-over from the primary detective character; as Richard Edwards points out, this was especially true with Jack Webb as Sgt. Joe Friday on Dragnet.  In this Naked Gun clip, it begins with Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) driving his car. Not recognizing his own ineptitude, he drives in to trash cans at the police station (which is comically identified on a plaque as The Police Station), triggering air bags. Within seconds he is outside the car, being chased by it, but the voice-over drolly continues telling us about the case. Similarly, the scene in the police lab is played straight, but with exaggerated slapstick elements – cuff links shooting a dart into the neck of Drebin’s supervisor, Ed (George Kennedy); a giant lab assistant, Al, is so tall his head is out of frame; Drebin actually walking around the stage wall that allows us to see between two rooms.

2.       Both Young Frankenstein and The Naked Gun approach the overall look and style as if these were the films they’re parodying (1930s Universal horror films; 1960s TV cop shows), but add slapstick elements made funnier contrasted with the general seriousness. Gene Wilder plays Dr. Frankenstein more realistically than does Leslie Nielsen as Frank Drebin. Drebin is essentially a doofus who tries to live out his belief that he is a successful, responsible policeman. Dr. Frankenstein is a bright man battling the emotional demons of the deaths caused by his family’s experiments. In general, Mel Brooks’ style in Young Frankenstein is more sophisticated – something you wouldn’t say for the same year’s Blazing Saddles – and related directly to the films it’s parodying where the ZAZ approach, in both the Naked Gun and Airplane! films, is anything for a laugh.

3.       Both Clouseau and Drebin are idiots who desire to appear sophisticated and competent. Peter Sellers’ Clouseau is more eccentric, featuring a pseudo-French accent and pseudo-elegant gestures while Drebin desires to be an efficient, by-the-book American. In the scene we watched from A Shot in the Dark, Clouseau is more aghast at his destruction – ripping the pool table felt, upsetting the cluster of pool cues – and goes to more length to dismiss his guilt. Drebin’s destruction – the runaway burning car – receives a brief facial recognition and seems forgotten once he enters The Police Station.


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#47 TonyZao

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 12:33 PM

Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker were, in my opinion, the last true masters of slapstick in film. Their combination of extremely exaggerated visual and verbal humor and their relentless parody of genres such as disaster films (Airplane), spy films (Top Secret!) and police procedurals (The Naked Gun) brought many of the funniest moments in the modern years of cinema.

 

While Mel Brooks also excelled in parody and spoof of other genres, his approach was usually more subtle and made in a way his films also pay a homage to their parody victims. ZAZ, on the other hand, are relentless and show little respect to their targets. In this clip, for instance, we see Frank Drebin panicking when someone appears to try and hit him with a car, while actually the car is his own and it's just the airbags triggered by his clumsy parking driving the car. ZAZ's approach to parody resemble that of Blazing Saddles and some of the later films made by Brooks (SpaceballsDracula: Dead and Loving It) rather than the more subtle and delicate handle in Young Frankenstein.

 

Drebin and Clouseau have much in common: they're hard-working, honest policemen always striving to solve the case and usually having (by luck) the exact right idea about it. They don't hesitate to investigate even the richest and more prestigious people, something that infuriates their superiors. They are, of course, extremely clumsy and socially awkward, and they produce laugh with their actions as well with their dialogues. However, Sellers' Clouseau is more of a gentleman than Drebin, something natural because of the different eras they appeared in. Drebin can be compared in this field with the more modern Clouseau portrayed by Steve Martin.


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#48 ln040150

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 12:29 PM

Although not used to great effect in this clip, I believe the ZAZ team is using an additional influence in their films—still cartoons, particularly those from MAD magazine—and this can be seen in the background and “marginal” slapstick gags that occur from time to time, which is a common element in satirical cartoon illustration. There’s almost always a lot of “business” going on in a ZAZ scene, so much so that one might think they anticipated VCR tape and DVD sales so that people might replay over and over to get full justice out of every take.

Here we see the use of science, technology and a scientist—just as in “Young Frankenstein”—taken to a comic extreme. The zany gadgets a la James Bond or Maxwell Smart (dart-shooting cuff links, Swiss army shoe, paint-spraying walls) and normal gadgets gone berserk (airbags multiplying out of nowhere and apparently developing consciousness) all speak to a parody of the spy/police genre where such tools are commonly displayed.

Dreben often carries himself in a portentous manner similar to Clouseau. However, Nielsen has the temerity more common to characters in the American style of casually staring back at the camera every once in a while. I think that Drebin is also modeled upon something of the later Clouseau, perhaps, who was capable of even more forced silliness than the earlier character we found in “The Pink Panther” and “A Shot in the Dark” who was more accidental and clumsy.
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#49 BLACHEFAN

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 12:12 PM

1. Frenetic, break-neck pace, and up to speed. The use of narration by Frank Drebin as a throwback to film noir and detective films of the 1940s through 1960s. The laboratory where the main hero checks in the with the inventor/scientist on inventions/weapons. The change from one location to another by having the wall cut out and Drebin walking in front of the wall instead of using the door. 

 

2. Young Frankenstein was presented as a tribute to the original Universal Horror Movies from 1931 to 1939, where the gags and jokes placed in the film had subtlety and was not over extensive. The Naked Gun, however differs, by having the same fast paced speed and action of dialogue and gags to a fuller extent and not at a minimum. 

 

3. Both Drebin and Closseau are an enemy of their inferior head officers. They both are nuisances to the police community, but solve the case in the nick of time. They are both in a predicament that is related to the case. They are unaware of the clue that is important to the case, but that the audience knows that it is important. 


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#50 robinlee

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 12:11 PM

They really cram a lot of stuff into that scene. They play with tv cops, James Bond, and even the gag where he walks around the set wall instead of through the door. 

Nothing is subtle in this movie. In Young Frankenstein, there are more subtle references and gags that you may even catch the first time around.

He is similar to Clouseau, but I think so much more serious that he has no idea strange things are happening. 


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#51 redpaws

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 12:11 PM

Zaz,approach and the timing of the gags runs at a break neck pace-almost like a Tom and Jerry cartoon chase scene,with each pass Tom or Jerry appears with a larger hammer or object in order to "out do" the other in hitting one over the head.Brooks/Wilder tend to set up a verbal gag-then pause (take a breath) and hit you with the gag line.Wilder in particular would hesitate just long enough and get that certain glint in his eye and slight smile before delivery of the "punch" line  .ZAZ movies you need to literely watch several times in order not to miss a gag,the pace is like a freight train slamming you in mid tunnel. In Wilder/Brooks comedy you sit on the edge of your seat saying ( "wait for it ,wait for it ) ZING right in the kisser ! as another comic  was found of telling his friend Norton(-The Honeymooners -)      P.S. my favorite gag in the doozy was the lead detective walking "threw" the wall -early TV shows were famous for sets that were cut in 1/2 to swing the huge cameras around as well as for cardboard doors that never really closed allowing you to see prop men in the background.I am a huge fan of dragnet and all its prop/set mistakes.


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#52 Lawrence Wolff

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 11:55 AM

1) Wow! Where to start?  They mix TV police drama with James Bond secret weapons. I think ZAZ watched Olsen & Johnson and copies them - anything for a laugh! There is more than a joke a mionute and they keep coming. The understated ones get to me the most - Frank walking around the wall or having a supersized lab assistant that is so tall you can't see his head! (First used, I believe, in a Joe McDoaks short. Watch these for some great & overlooked slapstick!) Naked Gun is a very funny film that doesn't let up in the gags.

 

2) I think the approach is different. Although both Igor and Frank give us the "camera look" to bring us into the jokes, this film is an out and out parody of detective films. Young Frankenstein is more of a comedy tribute to the originals and is more affectionate to it's treatment of their subject than ZAZ treat their subjects. Both are extremely funny in their own way.

 

 3) Sellers and Neilson both bungle their way through life, but Sellers has the air of a snob as he does so. As funny as Neilson's character is, Sellers' attitude makes me laugh a little more as I like to laugh at the snob as things happen to him to deflate him. With Neilson, the jokes (more often than not) are about the people around him. A common theme with bumbling policeman is that they have trouble with inanimate objects. They make walking through a door or looking through a microscope a production that always goes wrong. The fact that both of these characters keep the straightest of faces makes in all the more funny! Nothing is ever their fault.


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#53 DebraDancer

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 11:38 AM

1. How would you describe ZAZ's approach to film parody or film spoofs in this scene?

 

Fast and furious, baby, fast and furious. Throw in everything but the kitchen sink.

 

 

2. How is ZAZ's approach to spoofing similar to or different from Mel Brook and Gene Wilder's approach?

 

In a nutshell, "loving homage" (Brooks/Wilder) versus "pointed satire" (ZAZ).

3. In the context of slapstick comedy, compare Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau with Leslie Nielsen's Frank Drebin.

 

Seller's Clouseau isn't in on the joke whereas Nielsen's Drebin is. Not that one approach is better than the other, mind you. Although I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Clouseau. If I ever ran across Clouseau, I'd want to try to help him out but if I came face-to-face with Drebin, I'd just sit back, let him do his thing and laugh.


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#54 jay1458

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 11:28 AM

I think ZAZ;s approach to film parody and spoofs is very comical with the airbag gag and again with dart gag. ZAZ's approach is similar to Brooks/Wilder in the clamp on the guys nerve compared to the dart on the guy's neck. Ckouseau and Drebin are both bumbling idiots in their own ways but I still like Clouseau better than Drebin.


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#55 goingtopluto

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 10:32 AM

In watching the clip I would say that ZAZ's approach to parody is to keep the gag's coming fast and furious style of the Mack Sennett's shorts. in this clip I counted 15 gags (and I may have missed a few).

As mentioned in the brief summary, they would combine genres. Here we see a James Bond parody by demonstrating a shoe that is as multi purposes of a Swiss Army knife and cufflinks that shoot small darts. The scene has no direct connection to the case that they're following but is more reminiscent of Q explanations in the James Bond movie.

I would say the difference between this and the Young Frankenstein clip yesterday is that "The Naked Gun" is much more exaggerated. For example Leslie Nielsen greatly over dramatizes the "Joe Friday" monotone while Gene Wilder does more of an imitation of the old Frankenstein doctors. Both methods fit well into the overall tone of each movie
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#56 riffraf

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 10:02 AM

1.     How would you describe ZAZ's approach to film parody or film spoofs in this scene? Cite specific examples.

 

ZAZ’s approach to film making is obviously “anything goes”.  By approaching the film with a keen sense of nothing being taken for granted in a character’s behavior or actions there is no limit to the degree of spoofs.  Frank Drebin’s reckless driving entrance in this scene where he almost hits two police officers on the street and does hit a number of garbage cans, yet no one protests his behavior, he’s not reprimanded and with Leslie Nielsen’s dead pan, serious attitude his actions are portrayed as normal.  Add to this the comic looking air bags going off in all directions within his car, which he doesn’t recognize as his own, we are in a very ZAZ film world.

 

2. How is ZAZ's approach to spoofing similar to or different from Mel Brook and Gene Wilder's approach in yesterday's Daily Dose?

 

ZAZ go beyond breaking the fourth wall in this clip by having Frank Drebin walk right around the movie set wall in the police lab while Ted & Ed use the door to enter the next room.  As if the directors were taking the attitude of we know it’s a movie, you know it’s a movie, what’s the big deal?  There are no rules.  Let’s have fun with it! 

 

3. In the context of slapstick comedy, compare Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau with Leslie Nielsen's Frank Drebin.

 

By having Leslie Nelsen’s character being oblivious to his own bungling ways he is very much in line with Peter Sellers’ Inspector Clouseau in that they cause most of their own problems.  Both of these parodied crime fighters play their roles as straight men either pretending to not know of the problems they have created or totally ignoring them.  Much like the early silent films these characters are moving through a chaotic world of visual gags and situations for our need of comic pleasure.  The only difference is now the films are layered with sound effects and verbal humor that reinforce the visuals.    


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#57 Russell K

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 10:00 AM

1. How would you describe ZAZ's approach to film parody or film spoofs in this scene? Cite specific examples.

 

Hitting the trash can, air bags deployed, drive engaged by air bags, Drebin unaware car is in drive and following him, Drebin showing his badge, firing his gun - all within the first 28 seconds of the clip - and all with Nielsen maintaining his wonderful deadpan throughout.  (I will leave the remaining 2-3 minutes to others for examples.)  Again, crammed full of comedy gags amidst the deadpan detective.  A much faster pace than Pink Panther, with a focus on visual and verbal slapstick.

 

2. How is ZAZ's approach to spoofing similar to or different from Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder's approach in yesterday's Daily Dose?
 
You can tell with both Young Frankenstein and Naked Gun that there was a great deal of study of the originals in order to spoof them.  In Frankenstein, it seems to be more the entire decade of 1930s horror films via set design, shooting in black and white, original props, story line, and broad characterizations of the 1930s horror films, whereas Naked Gun seems to focus more on the PACE of the Dragnet series and its original Jack Webb. Naked Gun seems to focus more on a central buffoon, where the comedy in Frankenstein is drawn from all elements of the original.
 
3. In the context of slapstick comedy, compare Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau with Leslie Nielsen's Frank Drebin.
 
Leonard Matlin in his 2013 Media Guide called Nielsen "deadpan, dead perfect" as Drebin, who Matlin described as "the stupidest law officer since Inspector Clouseau.  
 
Clouseau, to me, seems more stylized, while the zaniness of ZAZ takes Drebin over the top in situations.  While we have Clouseau struggling with pool cues in our earlier Doozy, Drebin faces challenges second after second in this clip.  As mentioned in the Doozy, the jokes (both verbal and visual) are crammed into the film - making it difficult for this audience member, at least, to catch his breath from laughing at one gag before moving to the next.  This breakneck pace is what I view as the single most distinctive difference between these two bozos of law enforcement.

 

Drebin evolved from his original character in TV's Police Squad as the straight man to the bumbling cop in the movies.  (https://en.wikipedia...ki/Frank_Drebin)

 

Nicholas Laham in his 2009 book, Currents of Comedy on the American Screen: How Film and Television Deliver Different Laughs for Changing Times, has entire chapter devoted to what he calls "suspense comedy" that emerged in the 1980s.  He cites this genre's roots go back to Maxwell Smart in the Get Smart TV series of the 1960s.  He says that Pink Panther and Maxwell Smart were isolated comedic characters in the 1960s and 1970s, and it wasn't until the 1980s that the "dumb cop" and "dumb spy" premise became a dominant trend in film comedy.  Laham argues that this new form of comedy emerged in response to growing awareness of government ineptitude from Vietnam, Watergate, etc.  The focus he claims was on ineptitude versus government corruption.  

 

 


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#58 Wampus

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 09:56 AM

1. How would you describe ZAZ's approach to film parody or film spoofs in this scene? Cite specific examples.

 

ZAZ approach is to squeeze as many jokes as they can in a scene all while Nielsen deadpans his way (so well done in this first Naked Gun; in the sequels he showed more emotion and physicality in reaction shots and it did damage the tone and humor of them) through.

 

It's hard to cite specific examples of parody, besides the lab doctor who is the equivalent of Q in the James Bond movies showing off gadgets to Bond.

2. How is ZAZ's approach to spoofing similar to or different from Mel Brook and Gene Wilder's approach in yesterday's Daily Dose?

 

Young Frankenstein keeps a more sustained tone in the buildup to a joke. If ZAZ had done Young Frankenstein, the garbled POOTUN ON DA REETZ! would not have been a payoff to a long setup, but would have been preceded by a visual joke about an audience member, Dracula snapping his fingers along to the music in his coffin, etc.

3. In the context of slapstick comedy, compare Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau with Leslie Nielsen's Frank Drebin.

 

Nowhere near in artistry but I think the analogue of Sellers as Chaplin and Nielsen as Keaton could apply. Clouseau, as inept and bumbling as Drebin, does explode in frustration and rage to comic effect. Drebin is always stone-faced and the humor is with those around him.

 

 

I just want to say I laughed even harder about Drebin looking through the microscope with his closed eye than the first time I saw it. It's such a silly little idea but so expertly done.


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#59 Barracuda89

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 09:55 AM

1.      ZAZ takes a zany fun approach to film parody as illustrated in this scene from The Naked Gun. Typically in police movies, the protagonist always looks debonair and in control, whereas, Leslie Nielsen’s character succumbs to the police airbag after misjudging the curb when he parks his car. Then, he is immediately run over by the car, only to be alerted by an elderly woman that the car is directly behind him. ZAZ makes it clear from the beginning of the scene that this is not the typical rugged, handsome, alpha-male police officer we are used to from many police films.

2.      I find the ZAZ approach to spoofing similar to that of Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder’s approach, only lacking some subtlety. Young Frankenstein is full of subtle lines of dialogue, and acting done largely through facial expressions that are lacking in The Naked Gun. Where they are similar is that they each take a known aspect of the film genre they are spoofing and completely turn the expectation on its head to make a hilarious gag. In Young Frankenstein this is clear when the audiences, and Frederick, meet Igor; with the ominous music and shadowy lighting, we are expecting a much tenser meeting that turns into a verbal back and forth banter the audience remembers long after the film ends. In The Naked Gun, the scene in which Leslie Nielsen’s character looks into the microscope, in what would normally be a tense moment looking for clues, needs to be reminded to look into the glass with his open eye.

3.      Peter Seller’s Inspector Clouseau and Leslie Nielsen’s Frank Drebin are similar in the ways that neither one is especially aware of their bodies. Of course, the actors are aware of their physical space, as that is what makes the comedy of their characters so funny; the characters however have no concept of their physical limitations. Inspector Clouseau knocking over the rack of pool cues and Frank Drebin popping off a piece of the microscope into his face are slapstick gold, and ways in which the two characters are similar. 


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"You should never, never doubt what nobody is sure about."--Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka


#60 Dr. Rich Edwards

Dr. Rich Edwards

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 11:29 PM

Today's penultimate Daily Dose for #SlapstickFall deals with Det. Frank Drebin of The Naked Gun, and the Zucker, Abrahams, Zucker approach to genre spoofing -- fast-paced jokes that bring in multiple genres into a single scene. 

 

 

 

 


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Richard Edwards, PhD

Ball State University

Instructor: TCM Presents: Into the Darkness: Investigating Film Noir (2015)

Instructor: TCM Presents: Painfully Funny: Exploring Slapstick in the Movies (2016)

 





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